Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline defunded following state budget cuts

People took to the streets in Iowa City for a “Take Back the Night” event during Sexual Assault Activism Month in 2016. — photo by Emma Kraus

The Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) announced Friday that the statewide hotline it has hosted since 1999 will be defunded as of October 1 this year following cuts totaling one quarter of the state funding for victim services.

The Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline provides 24-hour confidential counseling and support for anyone impacted by sexual violence, either directly or indirectly. The hotline gives callers information to help connect them with local services and provides roll-over services to other Iowa centers, answering their hotlines during non-business hours, weekends and holiday.

Calls to the hotline increased by 647 percent in the past two years, according to an RVAP press release, and the hotline is expected to receive almost 4,000 calls this fiscal year.

The hotline is not the only service impacted by the cut of roughly $1.7 million. According to an April press release from the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the funds also support housing assistance, safety planning for families, sexual violence prevention programs for schools and other aid for individuals impacted by domestic and sexual violence.

RVAP posted a request for donations on its Facebook page along with the announcement of the defunding. The organization is also hosting a Race to Zero virtual 5K throughout the month of June to raise awareness and funding for its programs.

Editor’s Note: Little Village reached out to representatives from RVAP and other state organizations, but did not receive comments by the time of publication. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.